How to Combat Ticks

Finding a way to tackle tick control is a priority for every horse owner, so we met up with Dr. Chad McGee to learn when to watch out for ticks, where to spot them on your horse and how to help prevent diseases they may carry.

Ticks are a year round concern with prime periods of population bursts in the early spring, as well as uncommon warm days in the fall. Ticks are most well-known (and feared) for their ability to carry Lyme disease. Lyme disease causes a wide range of symptoms including, shifting leg lameness, behavioral changes, eye issues, skin issues and neurologic conditions. Ticks also carry equine anaplasmosis, which causes a very high fever in the horse.

To help prevent ticks from getting on the horse and lower risk of disease, you can use products such as EquiSpot or certain fly sprays. Unfortunately there is no equine vaccine for Lyme disease, but the dog vaccine is sometimes used off label. Common areas to check for ticks on your horse are underneath their chin, in their pectoral chest region, inside their stifles and within their forelock and mane.

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